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You know that the best time of year to buy Christmas wrapping paper and holiday decorations is on December 26th. And it’s often easy to stock up on items like sunscreen, flip-flops, beach toys and patio umbrellas towards the end of August when stores start putting out their Back to School displays.
But what about the roof over your head? Is there one season that’s better than all the others to replace a roof?
First, How Do You Know When Your Roof Should Be Replaced?
There are a number of telltale signs that will point you toward roof repair or replacement. These can include:
- The age of your roof. If it’s getting on toward 20 or 25 years old, consider scheduling an inspection in the near future.
- The roof is leaky. Here’s how to check.
- Your heating bills. As you know, hot air rises — and can easily escape from a leaky roof. If you are spending more on heating your home, but still feeling chilly, your old roof might be to blame.
- There are missing, curled, broken, or otherwise damaged shingles. Check your gutters for shingle granules, too; that’s another sign that shingles are getting old and worn out.
- Your roof droops or sags, or there are signs of moisture or rot on the inside (say, in the attic).
Winter Is Not Peak Roofing Season
Do you live in a climate that experiences winter: snow, sleet, ice, and consistently at- or below-freezing temperatures? If so, it’s probably not the ideal time to schedule a roof replacement.
Good roofing companies won’t even consider asking their employees to climb up onto a steep, peaked roof when weather conditions make it dangerous.
However, there are other reasons that winter isn’t a good season for a roof replacement. Shingles could crack as they are being installed since cold temps make them harder and more brittle. Even if they don’t crack, shingles need to be “cured” at higher ambient temperatures to adhere to each other.
Similarly, sealants can’t be applied as effectively when the mercury has dropped.
Of course, if you live in a more mild climate, winter can be a fine time to replace a roof. It won’t be as dangerous for the workers, and the tools and materials used will function better. And it might be the “off-season,” meaning you could pay less or have your pick of the schedule.
What About Spring?
OK, so winter is probably out. As soon as the red-breasted robin appears and the crocuses bloom, then, right? Well, maybe.
Spring can be a great time for a roof repair or replacement — if your roof is in great shape. Of course, if your roof is in great shape, its’ not likely that you are replacing it. After all, there aren’t many people who can afford to simply choose a new roof because they are bored with the current one and want a new style or color. It’s not a purse or a pair of sneakers.
If your roof does have some damage or deterioration, and you’re considering getting those taken care of, do it sooner rather than later. Winter can take a heavy toll on a roof. So heavy, in fact, that it could turn a roof repair into the need to spring for an entire roof replacement — no pun intended.
Summertime and the Roofin’ Is Easy
Again, the climate of your location — specifically, the average summertime temperatures — will play a big role in the decision to replace a roof. In the early weeks of summer, before things get too hot, roofing companies are usually very busy.
Remember that it’s going to be a lot hotter up on the housetop than down in the yard (or inside where the AC is running!). Dark-colored roofing materials can hold and reflect a lot of heat. This will make it a pretty unpleasant working environment.
And just as cold temps can wreak havoc with shingles and other materials, so can rising mercury. Shingles get softer in the heat, making them liable to incur more damage during installation and be less durable overall.
Fall Is the Right Time to Replace a Roof
That leaves autumn, and in fact, this is almost always the ideal time to work with contractors to do any necessary repairs on your roof or to replace it altogether.
The temperatures are more moderate in the fall. That provides several benefits:
- Roofing installers can work for longer periods without risk of heat exhaustion or clumsiness due to freezing fingers
- Mild weather means that tools and materials are easier to work with
- Shingles can seal effectively before the winter weather arrives
- Your home and family will be fully protected from the elements no matter how hard the wind blows or the snow falls!
There is, however, one downside to an autumn roof repair or replacement job: contractors are busy at this time of the year, too. In fact, they may be fully booked months in advance. Or they may charge a premium.
As you are planning home improvements that need to be made in the coming months and year, you will want to take this into consideration. Budget for — and schedule — any roofing job for the late spring, early summer, or fall.
This guide ought to give you a general idea of which seasons are better than others to replace a roof or take care of necessary repairs. Yet there are many factors that influence the fluctuations of roofing contractors’ schedules and costs. The climate where you live, the materials that are being used to replace your roof, and the difficulty of the work you need done are just a few of those factors.
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